Learning Module

Coastal Flooding Community Science: Getting Started

We know that sea levels are rising and will continue to rise into the future. What we don’t know is how this will affect individual communities across the Gulf of Maine. In this module, students will learn about sea level rise and make their own observations of coast lines at or around predicted flooding events through the Coastal Flooding: Storms and Sea Level Rise community science project. This work will be used to improve predictions of coastal flooding events and inform decision making related to resilience actions.

Coastal Flooding GMRI 011024

Data should be collected within one hour of high tide or during storms when we predict coastal flooding might occur. GMRI will reach out in advance of predicted high high tides which will produce the most useful data for this project. You can see a list of predicted high high tides for 2024 here: Dates and Times of Highest Tides

Find existing locations for data collection here. If you don’t already have a site picked out, reach out to the GMRI team. We will work with you to select a site and code a new site into the project page if necessary.

No particular equipment is needed for data collection. Make sure students dress for the weather and use caution during high tide events. No one should wade into the water.

Data is contributed to the Ecosystem Investigation Network at https://investigate.gmri.org/project/coastal_flooding/collect . An adult will need to create an account before contributing data. Class observations will be compiled into one data entry by that adult. More information is included in the “Contribute Data” lesson.

Lesson 1: Developing a sense of place

Sea level rise is a global phenomenon that is affecting each community differently. In this lesson, students work together to identify and reflect on what they value about their community as a way of building understanding of the potential impacts of coastal flooding as well as identifying the resources that the community can leverage to build resilience.

Teacher Guide | Class Slides | Student Pages

Lesson 2: Coastal Flooding and Sea Level Rise Historical Data

Through observations, tide gauges, and satellites people have been collecting data on sea level and coastal flooding for more than one hundred years. In this lesson, students look at historical sea level rise data and use the data to make future predictions.

Teacher Guide | Class Slides | Student Pages | Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Data Visualizations

Lesson 3: Making Predictions

Students interpret sea level rise models to make their own predictions of how flooding might affect their community.

Teacher Guide | Class Slides | Student Pages

Lesson 4: Preparing for Fieldwork

Students review the community science protocol and practice collecting data at interactive stations.

Teacher Guide | Class Slides | Student Pages | Fieldwork Skills Stations | Protocols

Lesson 5: Go out and collect data!

Fieldwork teams look for and document signs of coastal flooding.

Teacher Guide

Lesson 6: Sharing observations

The class compiles the data and submits the data to the Coastal Flooding Community Science Project on the Ecosystem Investigation Network. Students reflect on their experiences and what they hope to see in a climate resilient community.

Teacher Guide | Class Slides | Student Pages | Data Entry Page | Discussion Forum